By Pang Joseph, Friday, September 22, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Buea – There has been a popular people’s uprising in all of the former British Trust territory of Southern Cameroons with mammoth crowds of both the old, young and frail taking to the streets demanding an end to the union with La Republique du Cameroon.
Despite the heavy presence of gov’t forces in the streets of major towns, cities and in some rural areas, hundreds of thousands of Southern Cameroonians took to the streets chanting songs of freedom and demanding that they get their country back. Protest marches which started in the early hours today, Friday, September 22, were reported in towns and villages including Eyumojock, Ekona, Kumba, Ebonji, Buea, Muyuka, Fontem and many others in the South West region. The Northwest saw protests in Bamenda, Kumbo, Batibo, Widikum, Santa, Ndu and many others.
In Ekona, thousands of people took to the streets bringing traffic on the Kumba-Buea highway to a standstill. Some wore T-shirts with inscriptions such as “I stand with Mancho BBC”. Some told the Cameroon Journal that they want every Southern Cameroonian who has been jailed in connection with the current situation to be released. They added that they want to send a strong message to La Republique and United Nations that they want their freedom back.
Even though, a Friday, Kumba, the economic chief town of the South West witnessed another ghost town. We talked to some shop keepers and they said that they made a conscious decision to shut down today to respect the general mobilization and protest March.
Early in the morning, the streets were completely transformed with thousands of people marching and calling for the liberation of all jailed Southern Cameroonians and reclaiming their freedom from La Republique. It was one of the
most spectacular protest marches in Kumba in recent times. The young, children, mothers and fathers spearheaded the move which was not just limited to motor bike riders as usual. Prominent among the thousands who flooded the streets were a group of mothers dressed in white blouses and red skirts, with their heads covered in red head scarfs. Despite the heavy presence of the military, denizens were not bothered. Some vowed that, “enough is enough, we want our freedom, and Southern Cameroons must be free.”
Eyumojock which has become one of the bastions of militancy since the resurgence of the Anglophone problem last year was not left out. There, youths, bike riders, young and old, did not just march, but carried the blue and white flag which has become synonymous to the Southern Cameroon/Ambazonia struggle.
The capital city of Buea which has hitherto been rather very reserved was filled with protesters chasing away school children. There are unconfirmed reports of the house of the Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick, coming under attack and ransacked by protesters. Some reports say, security officers guarding the house took to their heels as the irate crowd approached.
It was the same defying trend in the North West region where the Governor had prohibited any public gathering beginning Thursday, 21st September to 3rd of October as a means to thwart the purported proclamation of the independence of the Southern Cameroons which activists say will take place on October 1. Despite the recurrent bomb explosions in Bamenda, a popular protest march was staged in some major corners of the town. Though the release of Mancho BBC preoccupied the angry crowd, they also called for what they termed, “an end to occupation by La Republique.”
Most areas of Momo Division including Batibo, were equally much tensed with rioting everywhere; vehicles were also prevented from moving. Meanwhile, in the small locality of Widikum in the same Division, gunshots were heard even though no casualty has been reported as of press time. As we were making this report, it was still unclear whether the installation of the new Divisional Officer for Widikum that was to take place this morning took place as planned. Most invitees who had traveled from distant places were still stranded in the village.
All these protests are coming up the same day Paul Biya was addressing the UN General Assembly. Protesters
disclosed to us that they wanted to send a strong message to him and the UN that they have to take the Southern Cameroons case seriously. It is becoming evident that the government of La Republique can no longer control the situation as even force which was its main weapon of subjugation can no longer contain the people. It was a rare occasion to see armed security forces, standing by and watching as the people pronounced words and names that were until recently a taboo in their ears. Even the dictum of the Governor of North West was heavily challenged by people power. For once, the Ambazonia flag is flying high in many towns and villages of Southern Cameroons.